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Bear Behavior: Mum, the bear is eating me & NOLS attack | High Sierra Backpacker

Bear Behavior: Mum, the bear is eating me & NOLS attack


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 01 September 2011

This rather morbid story is out of Sibera via Australia, and describes Brown Bear behaviors which are totally unheard of in the Sierra Nevada. 

But this violent behavior is not unknown in Black Bears in Alaska, and by hungry or scared Brown Bears anywhere.

Mum, the bear is eating me: Final terrified phone calls of teen Olga Moskalyova, Daily Telegraph, au, 8-18-11

 

In late July 2011 a NOLS team in Alaska was attacked by a mother Brown Bear.

Richmond Teen Among Alaska Bear Attack Victims, KTVU, July 25, 2011

All reports indicate that the first humans on the NOLS team who contacted the mother bear ran. That is a really-really bad strategy that is an open invitation for a bear to attack.

 Running brings on an attack from a bear, kind of like it does with a cat. On the other hand,  charging the bear or standing your ground gives the bear a chance to back off, if its intent was to warn you.

If Bear was just doing a warning charge, your running will encourage it to follow up with a swat and bite. On the other hand, if the bear is charging you because it's starving and wants to eat you, you are fucked no matter what you do.

Yeah, I know, standing up to a charging bear is easier said than done. But you must understand that running is the same thing as inviting an attack, while standing or charging back gives you better odds of survival.

The first contact's ability to end an attack protects all the rest of the team, even if the bear continues to attack the first contact. It gives the rest of the team time to respond.

When you find yourself in an ugly situation you have to make ugly decisions that suit the situation. Sometimes you give up an arm to save your head, as when you are falling down a ravine. It's the same thing with bears. Standing tall is your best bet.

You must stand your ground to save yourself from attack, if disuading the attack is at all possible. If not, at least you went down wearing your balls like a man.

 I have stubborness and anger issues. 9 out of 10 times that death comes for me I meet it face on. 1 out of 10 times I blink. So it's likely that I'll try to bite a chunk out of the fucker before I go, if I have half a chance.

But that's just my natural confrontational approach to dangerous circumstances, which also seems to improve my odds of getting through the ugly situations that   occassional  just "pop up" right in your face.

Teach yourself to instantly respond to unexpected dangers by instantly observing the danger, analyizing its trajectory and potential, and pursuing the best chance to avoiding injury or death.

 

For real information on Sierra Bear behavior see my discussion on Food Storage and Bear Technology.

 

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